Palestinian workers under "moral terror"

In the heart of Jabalia Refugee Camp, there was no more room in the two-room 50 square meters house of Mahmoud Al-Dhabous 42. He is an unemployed father of 7 children, lost his work because he refused to “betray his people.” The washbasin in the kitchen is broken. The door of the bathroom is full of holes while the two rooms packed with sleeping children, clothes and books. Al-Dhabous is a sample of thousands of Palestinian workers the Israeli intelligence have been trying to recruit them as traitors for a permission of work inside Israel. For nine consecutive years, Al-Dhabous has worked for a factor of greenhouses in the industrial zone of “Eretz”. He has been jobless for more than a year. The Israeli intelligence prevented him from working as he refused to “collaborate”. 

The Crow Cries

Lately Mary said that “we are slaves now,” – slaves even without the possibility of shouting at your masters. “How sad is it that we are happy to get a permit,” she said after hearing of people who received a permit to travel to Jerusalem during Easter week. She herself applied but did not receive one. We heard of many couples who received only one permit. According to some, there were seven hundred permits to give away for a thousand applicants. Most people did not bother to apply. With its army roads and barbed wire the Wall will soon dominate the western border of the Bethlehem area, as well as a large stretch of the south. The checkpoint to the north of Bethlehem is going to be moved southwards, approaching downtown Bethlehem. It will be in or immediately behind the Wall. 

Assassination of resistance fighter in Nablus

Today, Thursday afternoon an Israeli undercover commando killed Ibrahim Smeri, 24, a fighter of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, right outside the Balata refugee camp on the outskirts of Nablus. Around 2pm today, two private cars with undercover units dressed in women’s clothes approached Ibrahim Mohammad Mahmoud Smeri Hashash, as he left from Al-Quds street walking towards the southern end of Balata Camp. After being shot, his body was taken by the IOF forces. 

Israeli Occupation Forces Invade Nablus

Nablus, 11 April 2005 — Early this morning, about two dozen jeeps from the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) assisted by a helicopter entered Nablus and surrounded a house on the Jabal Shamaliya, the northern mountain of the town. During the military operation 15 people were arrested, of whom two remain in custody. Six people were injured and taken to Rafidia Hospital, one of them in serious condition. Although today’s military operation was the largest launched by the IOF during the day for the last few months, it might seem that Nablus is “pacified”. Reality looks different. 

Lock down in Gaza

We are preparing now for lock down. I have this sense that perhaps a prison guard has in an American high security prison. I’ve seen it in the movies. The prisoners are causing too much trouble and you hear the heavy black boots of the guards stomp down the iron corridors. Then one of them shouts “lock down!” or some other phrase that hides the brutality of what is about to happen. Someone else pulls a huge switch and the sound of metal clanking metal is awesome. That’s the preparation now. The Israeli occupation army is building everywhere. I thought they were mean to be disengaging? Eóin Murray reports from Gaza. 

Struggling to be self-reliant in Jenin

Why are so many children born with mental and physical disabilities in Jenin? It is this question the staff of the Local Committee for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled (LCORD) set out to answer after more than a decade of working with such children and their families. LCORD carried out some research, to try to discover what was causing so many cases in their region. They interviewed 215 mothers of CP sufferers, and found something they had not been looking for: that almost 70 per cent of them (150 of the mothers) were all using the same, cheap contraceptives. 

Falling through the Looking Glass in Hebron

“Nazis! Jew killers! Go back to Germany!” Suddenly everything seems chaotic. Five minutes ago a white pick-up came to a halt, and two young men exited. I and another international calmly approached them, remembering our training in de-escalation of possibly violent situations. One of the males was dressed in orthodox manner, complete with light colored loose clothing, head covered with a kippah and curly black locks of hair at the temples. The other was sporting a yellow Purim* mask, depicting a skull, and an Uzi. A military vehicle notices the episode and pulls up curbside. Three young soldiers get out just to stand around and do nothing, despite the fact that we repeatedly ask, as the settlers begin to kick and beat us. 

Doom in Hebron

Free postcards at a pub in West Jerusalem. One of the postcards shows a labyrinth. My Danish colleague Maria laughs and claims that the postcard is a map of the West Bank. To make her statement evident she takes out a pen and writes the words “checkpoint”, “road block” and “occupation” all over the postcard. The crowd laughs at this cynical interpretation of the free postcard. The laughter however dies when I find myself in the Old City of Hebron. Suddenly, I find myself in Maria’s enlarged version of the free postcard depicting the labyrinth. 

Israel provokes Palestinian resistance groups in Nablus, kills two

Since the announcement of the hudna (“cease-fire”), Nablus hasn’t seen anything like a hudna. Almost every night IOF troops enter the city, especially the refugee camps and the old city. Ray Smith reports from occupied Nablus. Last night the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) again showed their committment to what’s currently celebrated as a cease-fire: Mayoub Mureb Al-Qanni and Issam Hamsa Mansour were killed by IOF troops near the village of Kufr Qalil, right outside the West Bank city of Nablus. 

A West Bank Story: New Year's in a Garden on the Moon

3 February 2005 — The Jericho Intercontinental is a very posh hotel built next to a casino, both of which were finished just as the Second Intifada started and thus never really opened. But they dusted themselves off and offered a New Year’s Eve party, a night in a big lavish room, and two meals for $90 each. Several Palestinians and internationals jumped at the chance, eager for a change in scenery and atmosphere. I loaded up with some Palestinian officemates and friends into a service taxi on New Year’s Eve, and we made the long journey bypassing the Qalandia checkpoint.